At least three persons have been reported to have lost their lives, while many were injured when a two-storey building under construction collapsed in Rivers State.
The incident happened on Saturday along Isi Ewu road, Mbodo Community in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The information available to ABN TV correspondent is that the dead victims were labourers working at the site of the two-storey building when the incident occurred, even as some persons sustained injuries and were rushed to the hospital.
Some eyewitnesses at the site of the incident said that the intervention of the Ikwerre Local Government Chairman, Dr Samuel Nwanosike and the operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps prevented more casualties.
Olufemi Ayodele, Public Relations Officer of the NSCDC, Rivers State Command, confirmed the incident Sunday morning in a statement.
He stated that the state Commandant of the NSCDC, Michael Ogar, who visited the scene, attributed the cause of the collapsed building to the use of substandard materials.
Ogar, who was represented by the Head of the Rivers NSCDC Disaster Management Rescue Team, Assistant Commandant James Ngene, disclosed that preliminary investigation revealed that the rods, pillars and blocks used in the construction of the two-storey building were far below the required specifications.
The statement reads, “It is high time Nigerians began to take responsibility for their actions, especially when the life of humans are involved.
“The collapse of the two-storey building at Aluu in Ikwerre Local Government Area could have been avoided if standardised materials and the right specifications were used.
“Owners of buildings and landlords are hereby advised to be wary of desperate and quack building contractors who care only about their pockets and not the lives of innocent people.
“The Rivers State Commandant lauded the Chairman Ikwerre Local Government Area, Hon. Samuel Nwanosike for mobilising three pay loaders and providing the necessary logistics.
“That effort enhanced the rescuing of the victims and recovery of three corpses during a joint rescue operations by NSCDC, National Emergency Management Agency, other security agencies and well-meaning people who worked tirelessly to savage the situation.””
He also commended all others who collaborated with NSCDC operatives in the search and rescue operations, saying, “the collapsed building environment has now been cordoned and sealed to prevent further disaster.”
It added, “In furtherance to this, the NSCDC Rivers State Command Crisis Management Department will not relent in carrying out sensitization and awareness programs to warn the public of imminent dangers and precautionary measures needed to avert both man-made and natural disasters in our environment because prevention is better than cure.”